Sunday Serial: A Short Interlude
Tatty Jones and the Upside Down Cake
Tatty Jones was seven years old. Well, to be precise, Tatty was six years, three hundred and sixty four days old. She had spent the entire morning strutting around the house, picking up her toys and putting them in the big basket by the television.
“I will be too old for toys!” She told Jenny, their Labrador.
“I am going to be too tall for pogo sticks!” She told Natalie, her baby sister.
Tatty’s mum smiled down at her and plucked the rag doll from her hand. “But Tatty, I thought you loved Jemima?” Tatty laughed and shook her head.
“Mummy, rag dolls are for little girls. I will be far too mart-too… matoo…too old for little girl dolls.”
“Oh dear” Her mum giggled. “What will get you for a present?”
“Something big! Like me!” Tatty puffed up her chest and stuck out her chin.
“And what will we make you for a cake?”
“Something… something…” Tatty stopped and looked at her mother with very wide eyes. “I don’t know.”
Tatty’s mum blinked, and then blinked once more. “Well,” she said eventually, “you’ll have to think of something.”
Tatty frowned as her mother walked away, dropping Jemima into the basket by the telly.
“What kind of cake would you get?” She asked Natalie, who only made baby sister noises like “goo” and “buruuur”. “You’re no help!” Tatty cried and stomped away.
In the hallway she found Jenny. “Jenny! What kind of cake do you like?” But Jenny just licked her lips and whuffed happily. “Ooh!” Tatty grumbled, very cross, “You’re no help!” and she stomped outside.
In Tatty’s backyard there was a big tree, from which her dad had strung up a swing. The swing was a little high off the ground for Tatty, but she pulled herself up, wibbly wobbling the whole time. Once her bottom was safe on the seat, Tatty looked up at the sky, between the tree branches. She could see clouds and birds, but nothing that reminded her of cakes. She grumbled about spotted cakes and striped cakes and ones made out of ice cream. As she grumbled, Tatty began to wriggle back and forth, making the swing move. She didn’t take much notice of the swaying swing until, suddenly, she had an idea. The idea was such a good one that she wriggled extra hard in delight, and the swing rocked forward. Tatty tipped backward off the seat and found herself looking at the garden fence very oddly.
Tatty was upside down.
Now, Tatty had been thinking of a big chocolate cake with lots of sprinkles on top. And that was a very good idea for a cake. But now she looked at the bell flowers which looked like little cups and the grass that grew from the sky. Tatty had an even better idea.
She rolled onto her knees and climbed to her feet before rushing inside. When Tatty slid into the kitchen, she gave her mum a great fright. “Upside down!” Tatty shouted.
Tatty’s mum blinked at her again. “Upside down?” She asked.
“Upside down!” Tatty shouted a bit louder, doing a little dance.
“What is upside down?” Her mum asked again.
“What cake?” Her mother was getting just a little fed up with the almost-birthday-girl.
“MY CAKE!” Tatty squealed and hugged her mum tightly around her middle. “I want an upside down cake!” She shouted into her mum’s dress.
Tatty’s mum smiled and then laughed, nodding her head. “An upside down cake it is!” Tatty jigged and jogged, she was so happy, and then she went to tell Jenny and Natalie the good news.
The next afternoon, when everyone sat around the big table in the dining room, Tatty wriggled in her seat. She had already opened seven amazing presents, one for each year she had been alive, her Grandma said.
One Big Girl bike – with white tassels hanging from the handlebars.
A Big Girl doll – who had a pretty red dress.
Three Big Girl outfits.
One snow globe – to be kept on her desk at all times.
One Big Girl notebook – also on the desk.
Now everyone watched as the lights were turned off and candles floated into the room. Under the candles was a big cake with slices of apples covering the top. Tatty gasped, apples were her very definite favourite! She wriggled and wriggled until she thought her chair would fall over.
They ate the whole cake that afternoon, and Tatty agreed that it was a very Big Girl party
and that there was nothing in the world quite like upside down cake.